Utahns increasingly optimistic about economy
Utahns head into the Labor Day weekend more optimistic than they’ve been in some time about the stability of their jobs and the strength of the state’s economy.
Released earlier this week, Zions Bank’s Consumer Attitude Index rose 2.0 points from July to August, boosting the gain over the past 12 months to 18.5 points. Utah’s consumer confidence index is now up to 106.9, far better than the national average (92.4), which went up 2.1 points since July.
"Consumer confidence in current economic conditions in Utah is now at a record high," said Scott Anderson, the bank’s president and CEO. "Utah’s job growth has been a model for the rest of the industry. Our economy continues to grow in diverse sectors that bring talent, investment and stability to the state.
"The state’s economic future is bright for business and individuals alike," he added, pointing to the improved business conditions facing Mountain Land Design, a family owned supplier of kitchen and bath appliances and hardware with stores in South Salt Lake and Provo.
"Early last year, we started seeing huge growth in new construction again, and we have seen step-up custom homes getting big," said owner Dan Devenport. "We’re seeing continued growth and customers are coming in with a lot of confidence. They are willing to spend money rather than cut back on things."
The state’s success in meeting Gov. Gary Herbert’s 2012 challenge to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days helped drive the perception jobs are more plentiful, said Zions Bank spokeswoman Elizabeth Neff.
But other factors influenced the growth in consumer confidence, she added. The threat of inflation seems to be diminishing, with the number of Utahns who expect their household income to grow faster than the cost of living increasing from 24 percent to 27 percent.